Changes in your exchange

The instruction belongs to the following themes

By selecting a degree programme you are able to see the general content as well as the possible degree programme-specific content. You do not have to select a degree programme to see the Open University's instructions.

These instructions are for exchange students at the University of Helsinki. If you need special arrangements during your studies or wish to extend, cancel or suspend your exchange or if you failed a course, read these instructions. Remember that you can always contact International Exchange Services if you have questions about exchange studies.

Special arrangements during studies

Here you find more information if you need special arrangement to support your studies


Extending your exchange

If you wish to extend your exchange, please note that you should notify the International Exchange Services at least two months before the end of your original exchange. In case you are doing a traineeship/research/PhD as a visiting student you should notify the International Exchange Services at least one month before the end of your original exchange. Please see below more detailed instructions depending your exchange programme.


  • First, contact your home university to make sure that the university can accept the extension, and the extension fits within the annual exchange quota stated in the bilateral agreement. Note that you must also update and validate your Learning Agreement.
  • Then contact International Exchange Services. NB! According to Erasmus+ Programme regulations, you should request the extension no later than two (2) months before the original end date of your exchange.
  • If the University of Helsinki accepts the extension, your study right in Sisu and Mobility Online will be updated.
  • When your Sisu and Mobility Online accounts are up to date you can collect a new certificate of student status from Student Services or print it from Sisu. If you wish to prolong your tenancy agreement at HOAS, you need the certificate as attachment to confirm your extended stay in Helsinki. If you are a non-EU citizen, you need the certificate in order to apply for the residence permit extension via MIGRI.
  • You can get a certificate for HSL student discount ticket from International Exchange Services or Student Services
  • If you are a member of the Student Union, contact the union to extend your membership.


  • Instructions for Nordplus students are similar to Erasmus instructions above.
  • However, there seldom is an exchange quota between the universities. Instead, you must find out if you can get a Nordplus scholarship for the extension. Please contact International Exchange Services for more information.

University level bilateral agreements

  • First, contact the exchange coordinator at your home university. If your home university allows the extension of your exchange, then contact International Exchange Services at the University of Helsinki.
  • Extending your exchange is only possible if the extension fits within the annual exchange quota, and both universities agree to the extension. (E.g. the exchange agreement states that two students may be sent for a semester, but only one has been sent. In this case there may be room for an extension within the quota.) Should the quota already be full, extending your exchange stay will not be possible.
  • If the extension is allowed you will be given further instructions regarding what you need to do, e.g. extending your study right, housing contract, and residence permit.

Visiting students

  • First, contact your home university to make sure that the university can accept the extension and ask for a written confirmation of the extension (in English) including the proposed new dates.
  • In case you are doing a traineeship/research/PhD you will need a confirmation, including the new dates, from your supervisor at the University of Helsinki stating that continuation is accepted. This can be either a screenshot of an email or a written and signed statement.
  • You need to update your signed learning agreement for traineeship according to the new plan.
  • Upload the above mentioned documents on your Mobility Online account and contact International Exchange Services to notify of your will to extend your stay at least two month before the end of the period of your original stay. In case you are doing a traineeship/research/PhD, notification made one month before is enough.
  • Your application will be handled and you will be notified if the extension is possible within two weeks of submitting your application. This may take longer during holiday seasons.

Can an exchange last over a year?

The exchange period is limited to maximum one academic year (autumn and spring terms). Exceptions may apply in the case of a visiting student status.

Can the whole degree be completed at the University of Helsinki?

Exchange students' study right is granted for a semester or study year, e.g. for a limited amount of time, and does not allow completing a degree at the University of Helsinki. If you are interested in applying to the University of Helsinki as a degree student after you have graduated from your home university, see How to apply.

Shortening/cancelling your stay

If you wish to cancel your exchange before the beginning of your stay, please let the International Exchange Services and your home institution know as soon as possible. 

If you wish to return home sooner than planned, please contact the International Exchange Services as soon as possible before you leave. Your home institution may need us to sign the departure certificate before your departure from Helsinki. Contact your home coordinator as well to find out what consequences your early return may have on your studies/grant. 

Please note that if you decide to return in the middle of a term and if you have made a rental agreement with HOAS/Unihome, you may have to pay the rent for the whole period of your original stay. We try to take force majeure cases into account as well as possible. To help us with this, please contact us as soon as possible and provide additional information (e.g. doctor's statement). 

Failed courses

At the University of Helsinki it's possible to retake a completed course at most twice. Please note that retaking the exam is possible only if your study right is valid during the retake. It's not e.g. possible to retake an exam in January, if your study right is valid only for the fall term. Please also note that your user account may be valid longer than your study right, but it does not allow you to complete any studies during that time.

Failed courses don't appear on the transcript of studies and it's not technically possible to make them appear on it. If your home institution requires proof of a failed course, you need to ask for this from the teacher of the failed course. Please note that teachers are not obliged to write such certificates. When asking for a certificate it's a good idea to provide them a template they can just sign for you. 

Failed courses do appear on your Sisu account. You can take a screenshot of the view and see if your home institution accepts it as a proof for a failed course.